POSTED: May 31, 2017
Economy | Politics & Enterprise

Small Business Social Responsibility: A critical look at the ‘Creating Shared Value’ lens

Seminar with Prof Laura Spence
Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Creating Shared Value by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer took the academic and business communities by storm in 2011 (5000+ citations and counting). Building on their earlier work they propose in the Harvard Business Review article that shared value creation can help to reinvent capitalism by focusing on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress.

Building on an earlier critique of shared value (Crane, Palazzo, Spence, Matten, 2014, California Management Review), the lens is turned to the case of small business. While small businesses are in many ways charged with being the engines of shared value by Porter and Kramer’s proposals, there is little to recommend it from the point of view of the small business itself.

Laura Spence argues that creating shared value is an uncomfortable fit for small businesses and proposes instead the ethic of care as an alternative approach and more productive way of understanding social responsibility in the small business context. Small businesses, she finds, tend to be closer to society than bigger ones. Rather than being an add-on activity to be measured and reported, CSR and contributing to the community is simply part of the way small businesses operate.


Laura J. Spence is Professor of Business Ethics and Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Management, Economics and Law at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. She is also Director of Research Impact for the School of Management.  Her research is on a range of business ethics and critical corporate social responsibility perspectives, not least Small Business Social Responsibility (SBSR), which she has led scholarly work on in Europe. Professor Spence has published in Organisation Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Accounting Organisations and Society and Business Ethics Quarterly. She is a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Business Ethics. Her most recent book is the Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility: Global Perspectives (Spence/Frynas/Muthuri/Navare). Laura is a Fellow of the Governing Responsible Business Research Environment, Copenhagen Business School. Twitter: @Prof_LSpence


College Building
Middlesex University
Hendon Campus
NW4 4BT London
Room: C219-C220 Boardroom


Wednesday, 21 June 2017


The seminar is free, but please email Pamela Macaulay to register your attendance.

No Replies yet